Domino’s Pizza and More Than Just Pizza Delivered to Your Door

When you hear the word Domino, you probably think of the pizza chain that specializes in delivering fresh slices to your door. But the company that makes those little oblong tiles has much more going on than just pizza delivery. Domino’s is one of the few companies to successfully combine multiple business models—from food retailing to home improvement—into a single brand, and they have done so with great success. Domino’s is even working on ways to let customers order their favorite slices through text messages or Amazon Echo.

Dominoes are small, oblong pieces with a line or ridge across the center that divides them into two equal parts. Each domino has an arrangement of dots, called pips, on one side and blank or identically patterned on the other. The pips are used to identify each domino, and some of the pips are used as points in scoring games.

There are many different kinds of domino games, and each has its own rules. Some are positional, where each player takes turns placing tiles edge to edge, forming lines of dominos of increasing length, or a specified number. Other games are total-based, where each player scores by adding up all of the pips on each of the played dominos. Several rules may be in effect at any time during a game, and some are optional or are applied only when a particular type of domino is played.

The basic rules of most domino games are described under the heading of Line of Play. A general rule is that a domino must be joined to the line of play either by matching the pips on its open end with those of the previous tile, or by playing it across the line of play. The number of tiles in the line of play is known as the count, and it is recorded for each game. A special case is the spinner, a double that can be played on all four sides.

When Hevesh creates her mind-blowing domino installations, she starts by considering the theme or purpose of the installation. She brainstorms images or words that might help convey the idea, then she begins arranging the pieces. Hevesh carefully builds each section, starting with the 3-D sections and then moving on to flat arrangements of dominoes that connect each of the sections together. She also creates test versions of each part and films them in slow motion so she can make precise corrections if needed. Finally, she omits a few dominoes here and there so that if she or a teammate accidentally topples a section, it won’t bring the whole installation crashing down. This strategy is crucial for any complex installation, because minor mistakes can have serious consequences.